first published on March 22, 2018 by Will
Israel has finally released the footage of their 2007 airstrike against Syria’s nuclear reactor after a decade of silence.
In 2007, Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) carried out a multiple munition strike against “The Cube” which was Syria’s secret and nearly complete nuclear reactor. Israel saw their neighbor’s nuclear development as a threat to national security and took action, in much the same way they destroyed Iraq’s nuclear facility in 1981.
The Israeli intelligence apparatus learned of the reactor’s construction in 2004, and that North Korean nuclear technology experts were helping the Syrians with the development. In fact, the reactor facility began looking almost identical to North Korea’s Yongbyon nuclear reactor. The Israeli intelligence officials estimated that the reactor would be completed before the end of 2007, so they planned its destruction accordingly.
The IDF’s Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot said that the 2007 strike was “the most momentous attack since the Yom Kippur War in Syria.” He was a key figure in the operation, and one of very few people that knew about the reactor at the time.
During the planning and training phase of the operation, relevant Israeli military units were told that they were simply training for operational readiness for the year, rather than a specific strike against such an important target. This secrecy was kept right up until the actual strike.
On 5 September 2007, 4x F-16I and 4x F-15I jets obliterated the structure with multiple munitions, causing irreversible damage to the site.
Not wanting to further expose or compromise their intelligence assets in the area, Israel said nothing of the attack. Similarly, Syria didn’t want to admit that they were secretly developing nuclear capabilities with the help of North Korea, so they simply excavated the site of any evidence and claimed that Israel had struck one of their abandoned military barracks.
Some are saying that Israel’s decision to declassify the footage is a thinly veiled warning to Iran, and what will happen should Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency catch wind of ongoing nuclear development projects.